China Clamps Down on Tibetans

Towns 'like armed camps' as Beijing tries to regain control
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2008 4:33 AM CDT
China Clamps Down on Tibetans
A young Tibetan looks at Chinese riot policemen standing guard in Kangding county, the capital of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in China's southwestern Sichuan province on March 20, 2008.    (Getty Images)

The Chinese government has acknowledged for the first time that  rioting has spread from Tibet into neighboring provinces, as it forcefully reasserted control, setting up roadblocks with armed police in areas with large Tibetan populations. In Gansu, hundreds of Tibetans, many on horseback, stormed a government compound, burned the Chinese flag  and hoisted the Tibetan emblem Tuesday.   

Foreigners have been banned from the troubled regions. A BBC journalist who managed to avoid checkpoints found that a Tibetan-inhabited town in Gansu was like an armed camp, with police lining the streets and few citizens venturing outside. Sporadic unrest is said to be continuing in western China. (More China stories.)

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